Thursday, June 25, 2009
A sampling of the thoughts running through my head:
Have you noticed that every time Barack Obama announces one of his plans to “do something” about an issue by increasing the power of government, he prefaces the announcement by declaring the issue a “crisis” that must be dealt with “immediately” or else we may “never recover” from it?
Have you noticed that Obama seems to label every domestic issue a “crisis,” while never identifying a foreign policy issue as one.
Last year’s unprecedented drop in gas prices, from roughly $4-per-gallon to less than $1.70-per-gallon, began right after George W. Bush announced an end to the executive ban on offshore oil drilling. This year’s unprecedented increase in gas prices, which has included the never-before-seen spectacle of them going up every day for 55 consecutive days, began right after Obama announced that he was reinstating the ban. Have you noticed that nobody in the MSM has bothered to mention this?
Don’t you think Bush was right when he said
Considering the Iranian regime’s recent bludgeoning and setting afire of its citizens, don’t you think Bush was right when he said Iran is part of an “axis of evil?”
If modern Democrats want history to record them as anything other than weaklings with no common sense, they better look back at the clear-headed thinking of a prominent Democrat from the 1930’s. Not FDR, but Will Rogers. That great Cherokee comic from Okahoma said “if you want to know when a war might be coming, you just watch the United States and see when it starts cutting down on its defenses” -- and “diplomacy is the art of saying ‘nice doggie’ until you can find a rock” -- and “the United States has never lost a war or won a conference.”
Sunday, June 21, 2009
In my post at the beginning of winter, I suggested that those who curse the cold should learn to appreciate everything that is beautiful about winter.
Now it’s my turn. Because I do not like hot weather, summer is my least favorite season. But there are still things I enjoy about it, and surprisingly, some of them are specific to this sweat-soaked state in which I live. So here are some thoughts on summer’s first day:
I love opening the season with our annual Beach Weekend.
I love Independence Day.
I love that there is one time of year when I am able to prefer chilled white wine over room temperature red wine.
I love when evening breezes carry the sweet scent of orange blossoms across
I love watching swallow-tailed kites, one of my favorite birds of prey, as they soar in the air and seem to stay up there forever without flapping their wings.
I love watching fireflies illuminate the woods at dusk.
I love the dramatic pulse of
And finally, though this would be true any time of year, I love
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I have to follow up on my pre-Game Seven post about the greatness of hockey.
First off, I hope you watched the game and I hope you enjoyed it, because it was everything you dare hope for as a sports fan: intense in every respect, ferociously contested, splendidly played, with an outcome that was far from certain right down to the final second.
In many ways it reminded me of Game Seven in 2004, when my Tampa Bay Lighting defeated the Calgary Flames by the same score and in the same fashion (watch your 2-0 lead get cut to 2-1, then hold off a furious late rally to preserve the lead and claim the title).
The big question is this: Did Friday night’s game mark one great championship for the Pittsburgh Penguins, or did it mark the wholesale passing of dynasty’s baton from
Having won four Stanley Cups over the course of eleven seasons – with three different goaltenders, two different head coaches, and quite a few changes amongst their forwards and defensemen – the Detroit Red Wings have clearly been a dynastic franchise, and most people expected them to hoist the Cup again on Friday. After all, Game Seven was on their home ice and it had been 38 years since a Game Seven of the finals was won by the visiting team.
And they came back despite the fact that in the game which put them down three-to-two, they got shellacked 5-0 and looked so bad everyone thought they were mentally through and would get crushed in Game Six.
What really makes the dynasty-in-the-making talk intriguing, however, is that in addition to winning the Cup in such memorable fashion, the Penguins won it at a remarkably young age.
Keep an eye on this bunch from
Frankly, I hope the Lightning rise again and knock them off – but that looks unlikely, and if the NHL has to be ruled by any team other than the Lighting, I hope it’s this group of Penguins.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
As much as I love college football, I can not deny that hockey is the world’s greatest spectator sport. And when it comes to professional sports on this continent, no championship trophy is as difficult to win – or as hallowed to hold aloft – as Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Win the Super Bowl and hoist the Lombardi Trophy? Yes, that’s a great and significant accomplishment…but really, all it takes is a three-game winning streak.
Win the World Series and hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy? Yes, that’s a handsome trophy…but the sport is dull and those who get excited about it tend to fall into one of these categories: 1) statistics geek, or 2) sentimental journalist with low testosterone count.
Win the NBA Championship? Um, that meant something 15+ years ago, but today’s NBA is populated by a bunch of prima donna weaklings who can’t pass, can’t dribble, can’t avoid traveling or double-dribbling or carrying…and are more interested in getting mentioned on ESPN than they are in winning the games they are paid to play.
Hockey, on the other hand, is everything sports are supposed to be.
On one shift, a player may sustain bruises and a bloody nose from getting crushed into the glass, or he may lose teeth from taking a puck to the mouth…yet he will return to the ice for his very next shift, mere minutes later, without missing a second of playing time.
When they end up on the losing end of a game, players point their fingers at themselves rather than at the refs, coaches, league officials, media, fans, wives, mistresses, etc.
Winning the Stanley Cup requires a team to survive a grueling march through two months of playoffs – four best-of-seven series – during which it is an absolute guarantee there will be multiple injuries and wild swings of momentum.
And, there is but one Stanley Cup. It has existed since the 1890’s, and when a team wins it, it does not get a replica to put in its trophy case. Hockey players live by a code which says they will not touch the Cup unless they have earned the right by winning it. Some go even further in their reverence: Dave Andreychuk did not play for a championship team until his 22nd year in the league, and even though he was in the same room as the Cup on multiple occasions, he refused to even look at it until he won it with my beloved Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004.
Friday night will bring an event to our television screens that is unlike anything else in professional sports: Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Detroit Red Wings could solidify their position as the biggest sports dynasty of the past quarter-century, or the much younger Pittsburgh Penguins could avenge their loss in last year’s finals and steal
Canadians know to watch hockey. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans don’t. That might be because in most parts of the
Saturday, June 6, 2009
65 years ago this morning, human beings from the naval forces of eight Allied nations laid their lives on the line in ways most of us can hardly fathom. Two-thirds of them were from the
Traveling in ships and amphibious vessels, they set sail from
Slogging first through waves and then through sand, they were sitting ducks for the Nazi gunners positioned on shore. Bullets rained down on them without mercy -- hot lead instruments of death ripping through skin and bone amidst a cacophony of explosive reverberations. The men at the fronts of the landing crafts were the first ones to step on the beach, and they stepped onto it knowing they were likely to get shot. Each of them was acutely aware he might be entering the final seconds of his life.
Approximately 10,000 Allied men were killed or wounded that day. However, in bearing such an unthinkable brunt of brutality, those who were first on the scene helped clear the way for 100,000 of their fellow soldiers to reach shore and advance against the enemy, freeing occupied towns as they went. By the end of the month more than 800,000 men had done so, and the war’s momentum had swung in the Allies’ favor. Within a year the Nazis surrendered unconditionally.
In military parlance, the phrase “D-Day” refers to the first day of any operation, but in the public’s mind, it will always refer to the events on the beaches of